Talking Shop: Retail and Consumer Roundup May 2018

By Mark Abell


Welcome to your Retail & Consumer monthly news round-up. This newsletter focuses on key news and updates for retail and consumer-facing businesses around the world. At the end of the newsletter, you can also find details of some of our upcoming events, which we think might be of interest to you and your team.

Please get in touch, or visit our webpage for more information about Bird & Bird's Retail & Consumer Group.

In this newsletter:

Data Protection

The General Data Protection Regulation is here!

On 25 May 2018, the lights turned green and GDPR officially began. Stop off and refuel on the latest developments at member state level with our GDPR Tracker.




A warning for sellers of goods to Australian consumers

Following the over $4.6 million penalty ordered against Thermomix in Australia Pty Ltd, sellers of consumer goods are reminded of their obligations to report serious injuries caused by the use or foreseeable misuse of a consumer good to the relevant Australian Commonwealth Minister.

Read more >

Effective resolution of consumer disputes using alternative dispute resolution ("ADR")

The Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy ("BEIS") has recently published a research paper which assesses the impact and effectiveness of alternative dispute resolution ("ADR") and the court system in resolving consumer disputes with traders. The study is primarily based on a quantitative survey of consumers and traders that used ADR or the courts to resolve a consumer dispute.

There has been a big push in recent years to promote the use of ADR by businesses in resolving disputes which have a fairly low monetary value because ADR is viewed as quicker and cheaper for all concerned.

Read more >


EHRC highlights workplace protections against sexual harassment

Following a series of recent high-profile allegations, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (“EHRC”) has published a new report setting out a number of reform proposals aimed at addressing perceived inadequacies in the protections afforded to victims of sexual harassment at work.

Click here to read more on this and other Employment Law updates from Bird & Bird, and here to read the EHRC report entitled "Turning the tables: ending sexual harassment at work".

Read more >

A challenging time for employers in the Australian retail market?

The last 24 months have been a challenging period for retail in Australia. While the challenges faced by the retail sector are not specific to Australia, given the size of the Australian market, the impact is great. No less than 10 well-known brands have been forced to retract from the Australian market, go into administration, close down stores or reduce their product offering. Can recent retail trends, including the lowering of penalty rates under the General Retail Industry Award, help Australian retailer employers?

Read more >


Corporate PPAs: an international perspective

Corporate PPAs enable corporate consumers to procure renewable power directly from renewable generators, without necessarily being co-located, and allow both corporate consumers and generators to take advantage of a range of economic, reputational and sustainability benefits. Bird & Bird has published an updated report for 2018 on international Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).

This report looks at the main drivers behind the growth of Corporate PPAs, the threats and opportunities relevant to their deployment, and strategies for how they can be implemented, as well as providing an in-depth analysis on the market for them in key jurisdictions across Western Europe, the Nordics and Asia-Pacific.

Read more >


New franchise legislation announced in The Netherlands

The Netherlands Cabinet has announced on 23 May 2018 that it is preparing legislation intended to strengthen the position of franchisees. The announced legislation will have a different setup than the previously proposed regulations which were intended to lay down the Dutch Franchise Code in law.

The now proposed measures will have four focus areas. These include: the pre-contractual exchange of information, the interim amendment of an ongoing franchise agreement, consultation between franchisor and its franchisees and the termination of the franchise agreement.

The draft legislation is not yet available. The Cabinet has announced that it intends to open a consultation into the draft legislation this autumn. 

The press announcement can be found here.

Read more >


Six months until the Geo-Blocking Regulation applies. We are prepared, are you?

As of 3 December 2018, the EU Geo-Blocking Regulation will apply. The Regulation is relevant for all traders offering their goods or services to EU end-users (B2C and B2B) in the EU, regardless of whether the trader is established in the EU or in a third country. Traders established in third countries who are operating in the EU are in principle also subject to this Regulation. With six months to go, we outline the essentials of the Geo-Blocking Regulation and introduce our 6-step guide towards compliance.

Read more >


Plain packaging in Poland

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw decided that the shape of a yogurt package should not be granted trademark protection as it is a purely technical feature and its dual container has a functional significance only. Furthermore, the acquired distinctiveness should not be considered when the mark (despite the undeniable long-term presence on the market and the established consumer recognition) performs mainly practical functions.

Read more >

Making your Markle

There is no better way to celebrate the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle than with a commemorative tea towel. However, there are several legal obstacles for souvenir manufacturers and retailers to circumnavigate.

Read more >

Trade Secrets

Update on the Trade Secrets Directive

The UK IPO recently published the Government's response to the consultation on the draft Trade Secrets Regulations which will implement the Trade Secrets Directive. From February – March 2018 the UK IPO ran a technical consultation on the draft Trade Secrets (Enforcement, etc.) Regulations which will implement the Directive.

The UK IPO has indicated that in response to the submissions received, the draft Regulations will be amended. However, a revised draft has not been published and so the new proposal will not be known until the Regulations are laid before Parliament.

Read more >

Events and Activities


Employment Essentials (Part 6): Exiting Poor Performers

7 June, Hong Kong

Annual Data Protection Update

27 June, London

Read more >

Digital Marketing App

Our Digital Marketing App was the first app designed by a law firm to help in-house marketing teams and agencies with the legal issues surrounding international digital marketing campaigns.

The app covers the local laws of 17 countries across Europe and Asia-Pacific on topics including online advertising, prize promotions, social media and influencers, comparative advertising and data protection and privacy.

Click here for more information and to download the app.

Our News

Bird & Bird and City A.M. announce and what3words as the winners of Digital Innovators 2018

Six Bird & Bird lawyers are listed in the prestigious "Top 250 Women in IP"

We are shortlisted for 24 Euromoney LMG Women in Business Law Europe Awards 2018

We advise Lantmännen on the acquisition of Raisio plc's cattle feed business

Bird & Bird achieves exceptional results in Legal 500 EMEA 2018